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Squamish property tax increase limited to 2.9 per cent



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"In fairness it's not as much as they were asking for, but it's still an improvement," said Gardner.

Squamish is also negotiating the cost of integrated police services, like homicide investigation, with the province.

According to the revised tax roll released on Monday, Mayor Gardner will see his bill go up by $106.10 this year with a 2.96 per cent increase. Councillor Bryan Raiser, whose home was assessed under $400,000, will pay an additional $67.23 with a 2.93 per cent increase.

The biggest increase, percentage-wise, goes to Councillor Patricia Heintzman, who lives in Paradise Valley. A 3.02 per cent tax increase will cost her an additional $66.80.

Sewer and water fees will also remain frozen under the budget at $40 and $33 respectively.

Commercial rates vary, but the largest increase is in the neighbourhood of four per cent, while others will see double-digit decreases. The average increase is 2.9 per cent across the board.

Councillors and staff decided to delay some capital projects that could not be funded from reserves and took some projects off the books.

"Considering we started at a 17.5 per cent overall increase we came a long way and made some tough decisions," said Councillor Patrician Heinztman.

SSC board resigns en mass

A council resolution eliminated the paid business lead position at the District of Squamish this week, a move that was answered by the resignation of the Squamish Sustainability Corporation's board of directors on May 1.

The purpose of the SSC was to leverage Squamish's assets - recreation, housing, proximity to Vancouver, industrial park, proximity to Whistler, two universities, and high-speed fibre optic line, to name a few - to attract entrepreneurs and businesses to town. The SSC also operates the Squamish Adventure Centre, welcoming visitors to town while providing a venue for local non-profits and events.

The SSC is an entity owned by the District of Squamish, but includes representation from the Chamber of Commerce and Tourism Squamish.

The business lead position held by Dave Thomson was eliminated as part of budget deliberations, and will save the district up to $150,000 in salary and other costs.

Mayor Greg Gardner said the decision was entirely budget-driven.

"We as a group felt those funds were better utilized for other purposes," he said. "When I say that I don't mean purposes unrelated to economic development. For example... in our capital budget we've allocated a large sum of money to continue the process of distributing fibre (optic cable) throughout the community, which makes the community more attractive for businesses."

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